Friday Tech News Roundup #25

Below are 10 tech news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

iPhone sales numbers dipped slightly, but revenue is up courtesy of the iPhone X – As far as sales figures go, this last quarter wasn’t entirely rosy for Apple. During today’s earnings report, the company posted sales of 77.3 million iPhones, down just under a million from this time last year. Of course, that 78.2 million figure from 2017 represented a new record for the company. Techcrunch

Apple saw $5.5 billion in revenue from AirPods, Watches, TVs and other products last quarter – Other than its iPhones and computers, Apple sells a bunch of other products, like the AirPods, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Beats products, iPod Touch and, most recently, the HomePod. In Q1 2018, Apple saw $5.5 billion in revenue for these other products, an increase of 36 percent year over year. Techcrunch

Facebook bans cryptocurrency ads due to frequent fraud – Those cryptocurrency ads that promise to make you rich in a matter of days? You won’t see them on Facebook any more. Mashable

Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop is cheaper and slower at $799 – Microsoft has launched a new version of its Surface Laptop today, bringing the base unit price down to $799. The software giant quietly unveiled the cheaper Surface Laptop over at the Microsoft Store, and the new $799 variant ships with Intel’s Core m3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. That makes the new base model slower and cheaper than the previous version at $999 that shipped with a Core i5 processor and the same low amount of RAM. The Verge

Apple finally lists all the ways you can play audio on HomePod, and Bluetooth isn’t one – After a degree of confusion over the possible ways to play music on its new HomePod speaker, Apple has cleared things up by posting more information on compatible audio sources. The HomePod does indeed work with iTunes Match and purchased iTunes tracks as well as Apple Music, according to Apple’s website, which also mentions Beats 1, podcasts, and the ability to AirPlay “other content” from various Apple products. You should be able to beam songs from apps like Spotify, then, though you won’t be able to play them with spoken commands. The Verge

Google and 3M join the USI, an initiative aimed at creating an open standard for styluses – Touchscreens may have become the norm but styluses still have their uses. While they are primarily used throughout the digital art community, many regular users still prefer them over their fingers due to a stylus’ superior accuracy. Techspot

Cisco issues critical vulnerability alert for devices using WebVPN – Cisco recently issued an urgent security advisory regarding devices configured with WebVPN. The vulnerability is in the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) of Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) devices. The company has labeled it a critical flaw with a CVSS score of 10 which is as high as the scale goes. Techspot

Samsung launches 800GB Z-SSD for AI and high-performance computing – There is no shortage of demand for faster enterprise storage and Samsung now has a new product to offer. The SZ985 Z-SSD is an 800GB, four-lane PCIe SSD based on Z-NAND memory that offers nearly ten times the read performance compared to 3-bit V-NAND chips. The SZ985 is designed for supercomputing and artificial intelligence applications and can act as an extremely high-speed cache drive. Techspot

Quantum Computers Threaten Data Encryption – The promise of quantum computing comes with a major downside: “Cryptographically useful” quantum machines will threaten public key encryption used to secure data in the cloud, a new report warns. HPCWire

Firefox users should update now to patch security flaw – Mozilla has released a critical update for Firefox that repairs a security flaw that could have allowed hackers to run unauthorized code on a user’s PC. Techradar

Friday Tech News Roundup #23

Below are 10 tech news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

Apple revamps web design for App Store – Apple has updated the look of its web-based App Store, 9to5Mac first reported. It definitely has the feel of the iOS 11 App Store, which Apple completely redesigned and launched last September. But, unlike iOS 11, there’s no focus on app discovery. Techcrunch

A bug is messing up the keyboard for some Messenger users on iPhones (Update: Now fixed) – If you’re having issues with Facebook Messenger on your iPhone right now, you’re not alone. Techcrunch

Tim Cook: next iOS update will let users disable iPhone battery performance throttling – With its admission that it throttles performance on older iPhones, Apple is facing one of its biggest controversies in years. The feature may be for the benefit of the owner, but Apple’s failure to disclose what it’s been doing has been met with anger. Now, Tim Cook says a future update will allow the performance throttling to be switched off, if a user wishes. Techspot

World’s most powerful mobile spyware can read WhatsApp messages, take photos, more – Security firm Kaspersky has uncovered a new Android spyware tool that’s being described as one of the most powerful and advanced forms of mobile malware ever. Named after one of the domains where it was first identified, Skygofree can perform a number of malicious activities, including recording audio and reading WhatsApp messages. Techspot

Apple and Samsung are both under investigation by the Italian government over planned obsolescence – Italy’s antitrust organization has launched two separate investigations against Apple and Samsung over accusations of planned obsolescence. The Verge

Netflix encourages employees to interview at other companies — here’s why – Netflix’s approach to people management can come off as logical but harsh. Business Insider

Microsoft Office for Mac gets a major update – Microsoft has released a new version of Office 2016 for Mac, introducing new online features that bring it closer in line with the cloud-first Office 365. Techradar

Apple forgot the greatest lesson of the MacBook Air – Ten years ago, Steve Jobs hopped on stage at Macworld 2008 and did another one of his seemingly impossible magic tricks: He undid the string on a manila envelope, pulled out the MacBook Air, and forever changed laptops forever. Mashable

This simple text message can paralyze your iPhone — but a fix is coming – A newly discovered iOS bug lets an attacker construct a simple text message which, when sent to an iPhone, immediately freezes and possibly restarts it. Mashable

Facebook became your news diet. Now, it’s going to serve you junk. – Forget about media outlets and Facebook — worry about readers. Mashable